Treat… or Trick


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It was Halloween many, many years ago — quite obviously before I had children of my own, as you will soon see.

My pal, Mike, and I were at his girlfriend’s parents house in an affluent suburb of Los Angeles, waiting for our dates, who were upstairs putting the finishing touches on their Halloween costumes. We were reclining on the couch, into our second or third beers, when the doorbell rang.

“Trick or treat!!” sang out a group of costumed kids as we opened the door. We were not prepared for this.

“Hang on!” we said, gently half-closing the front door as we rushed upstairs for advice. Turns out the girlfriend’s mother had left several large bags of candy in the pantry. For the children’s patience, we rewarded each of them with a large handful of candy.

“Thanks!!” they said, their eyes bulging as their bags sank under the weight.

We liked the response, so we were equally generous with the next several groups of kids who came to the door. It was not long before our bags of candy ran out. And the doorbell rang.

“Trick or treat!”

In a panic, we scoured the pantry and discovered that what we had feared was indeed true: we had exhausted all the supply of candy. And the evening was just getting under way. So we grabbed what we could find — canned goods. The weight change in the trick or treater’s bags under the onslaught of a handful of candy was nothing to what these kids were now experiencing as a Campbell’s Chunky Soup or Del Monte canned corn dropped into the midst of their candy.

We closed the door and collapsed in a fit of laughter. And then the doorbell rang again.

Subsequent groups of children got all sorts of stuff — packages of pasta, bags of dried beans, coffee filters, salt canisters, smoked oysters, Hormel chili, rice, spice jars, boxes of herbal tea, etc. — as we systematically emptied the cupboard. At some point, we noticed the bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken on the counter. And yes, some kids did get an Original Recipe breast, thigh or drumstick.

Before long, the girls were ready and we left for our party.

I don’t recall if we ever heard a postmortem from the girlfriend. I could only imagine irate parents storming the home of Mike’s girlfriend’s folks the following day… Fortunately they were out of town, and would’ve avoided the headmost charge.

Happy Halloween, kids — stay safe. And watch what winds up in your goody bag…

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jessamine in PDX
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 01:27:58

    This totally made me laugh. I like that you held in there. I would have turned off the lights and hid.


  2. monica overzealousdesign
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 06:33:14

    hysterical…well I still have that oversized bag of candy from LAST year, lol


  3. jewel
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 16:59:46

    Happy Halloween, Sean! I’m here, cracking up! Last year, provided they weren’t too young to appreciate the joke, to each ‘Trick or treat!’ I asked which they wanted, a trick or a treat. If the answer was ‘trick’ I had a bowl of kippered herring, fast food ranch dressing tubs & whatnot. Hilarious! Before long, I noticed that I was having repeat customers! One tiny little princess burst into tears because she WANTED ranch dressing instead of candy? 🙂 Jewel


  4. andreathompson2
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 19:44:07

    Too funny and very creative actually. It never occurred to me when I ran out of candy to start giving out anything in the pantry!


  5. timoirish34
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 20:00:40

    Funny! Back when I used to run out of candy (or sometimes just for the hell of it) I used to pass out cans of Penn State Motor Oil.


  6. tutusandsparkles
    Oct 29, 2014 @ 17:19:08

    Love this!


  7. Michelle
    Oct 30, 2014 @ 00:28:05

    Ha, ha. And I love that photo so much. I’m so glad you used it again!


    • scolgin
      Oct 30, 2014 @ 01:55:20

      I’m impressed you remembered it the first time. 🙂


      • pal-O
        Nov 04, 2014 @ 06:09:15

        Not sure anyone could forget that photo! We resorted to walnuts one year after the candy was gone and one kid was so insulted he stood at the driveway for about five minutes warning new Trick or treaters off the effort outing us as losers.

      • scolgin
        Nov 04, 2014 @ 14:05:41

        You had a face like a walnut that night. Walnuts… ayyyeee. That kid was a neighborhood hero.

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